Monthly Archives: February 2014

John J. Walsh Memorial Happy Hour Deck

Vicki and I often find ourselves sitting under one of the huge old oaks on our property at the end of the day, enjoying the cool breeze and a cool refreshment.  One day we decided that since this was quickly becoming our favorite place to have happy hour, we needed to make it more comfortable.  From these humble beginnings were born the John J. Walsh Memorial Happy Hour Deck, so named because nobody enjoyed a good happy hour, or a good happy hour location, more than my dad.

A fine spot under our favorite oak.  This tree is probably 60 to 80 years old.

A fine spot under our favorite oak. This tree is probably 60 to 80 years old.

Spirit poles were quickly erected and several happy hours spent in the planning stages.  Then one day there was nothing left to do but to build it.  So we headed down to the lumber yard and returned with a truckload of hope.

The understructure was framed from pressure treated 2x8s, with 2×6 joists running latterally.  I like to use words like joist and laterally, so it sounds like I know what I’m talking about, but the fact is…I just make this stuff up as I go along.  I’m hopeful that this thing will hold a handfull of guests and an ice chest full of beer.

The deck starts to take shape.

I brought in a young back to help out with the decking.  My nephew Greg as all too eager to learn the finer points of using a drill to drive decking screws…only one boy in a hundred can do it the way it needs to be done.

Nephew Greg looking like a pro.

Decking in placesOnce we got a few boards down, the rest of the deck came together pretty quickly.   Note the split level effect. This makes the deck fit better into the landscape, and the step will be a good informal seat.  It also adds the potential for some good comic relief on more extended happy hours.  The posts in the foreground are going to support a bench at some point in the future, but we’ll need a few more happy hours to finish the design.


Chair’s eye view

Chair’s eye view



Today we added a coat of stain, which is still drying, so sadly we’re not able to use it today, but by next weekend the John J. Walsh Memorial Happy Hour Deck will be ready for action, just in time for the Last Sunday ride.

Almost ready for a trial run.